WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the congressional probe of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election (all times local):
An attorney for former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn says that his client told the Defense Intelligence Agency that he would be traveling to Moscow to attend a gala for a Russian state-sponsored television network.
Attorney Robert Kelner says Flynn also talked with the Defense Intelligence Agency staff after he returned from the trip and answered any questions they asked.
Kelner’s comments came the same day the two top congressmen on a House committee investigating Flynn said that the former lieutenant general may have violated federal law by accepting tens of thousands of dollars in payments as part of the trip. Reps. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said Flynn could be criminally prosecuted because, as a former Army officer, he was barred from accepting the foreign payments.
The senior members of Congress on the House Oversight Committee say classified military documents show that the Trump administration’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, did not ask permission or inform the U.S. government about payments he received for appearances before Russian organizations in 2015 and for lobbying that helped Turkey’s government.
Flynn’s failure to obtain permission from military authorities for the payments raises concern whether Flynn violated a constitutional ban on foreign payments to retired military officers. That’s according to Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz and Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings.
The two leaders of the oversight committee said there was no evidence Flynn complied with federal law. They said Flynn could be criminally prosecuted, and they said Flynn should surrender the money he was paid.
The White House is refusing to provide lawmakers with information and documents related to President Donald Trump’s first national security adviser’s security clearance and payments from organizations tied to the Russian and Turkish governments.
The White House was responding to requests made last month by the House Oversight committee. The committee made six requests, and the White House cited reasons it could not comply with each of them.
Trump has said he fired Michael Flynn because of misleading comments he made to the vice president about his discussions with the Russian ambassador during the transition. Flynn is among the Trump associates being investigated by Congress and the FBI for possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Former acting attorney general Sally Yates is scheduled to appear at a congressional hearing next month on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Yates is to appear May 8 along with James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence.
The hearing before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee was announced Tuesday morning.
It will mark her first appearance on Capitol Hill since she was fired in late January after refusing to defend President Donald Trump’s travel ban.
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